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Sleeping Pad?
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Rick Horne
(Rick778) - M

Locale: NorCal - South Bay - Campbell
Sleeping Pad? on 04/09/2011 12:41:35 MDT Print View

Would a Neoair and Therm-a-Rest Ridge Rest Solar Sleeping Pad work (r value = 2.5 +3.5 = 6)or should I get something like a Exped SynMat 7 Air Pad (r = 4.9). One thought I had is if the Exped pad lost air there would probably be very little r value, but if the Neoair lost it's air you would still have Ridge Rest.

John Vance
(Servingko) - F

Locale: Intermountain West
Winter pad on 04/09/2011 12:55:48 MDT Print View

I use a down filled air mattress year round, but on snow I include a full length CF foam pad just in case I spring a leak - but haven't yet. The CF pad also serves double duty sitting in camp, thrown down to sort gear on etc.

If you can get at least an R5 rating or better, I would go with what works for you comfort, weight, and packed size wise.

James Wyse
(Ravelyn) - M

Locale: The Crossroads of the Revolution
Re: Winter pad on 04/09/2011 13:16:24 MDT Print View

Lately I've been using a combination of Z-Rest pad on the bottom and a ThermaRest Women's ProLite Plus on the top. Both full length. Works very well for me. I think the lowest temps I've encountered with that combo were -17 F.

Why the women's model? The women's has an R value of 4.6, whereas the men's is 3.8. They're the same weight, but the women's is six inches shorter. Since I don't need the extra length, I'll take the higher R-value.

I also have an Exped down mattress, which is super comfy in the winter. Unfortunately, it sprung a tiny leak, which I can't seem to find. Just enough to deflate it by morning. One of these days I'll figure out a way the fix it.

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
Re: Sleeping Pad? on 04/09/2011 14:45:09 MDT Print View

Rick, If temps are above 0, I think you are perfectly fine...but your R-value estimation isn't 100% accurate. The combo will actually be a lil less than 6 because both pads use reflective tech to boost the revalues. When you layer them, one of the pads won't have the benefit of your body heat to reflect back. For instance, if you layer the solar ridgerest ontop of your neoair, the neo airs reflective layer isn't working correctly and pragmatically speaking, is non existent. A neo air "trekker" model which doesn't have the reflective layer in it, has an r-value of 2...and would be a good comparison point. So if you were to layer the neoair under the solar ridgerest, you would have a total r value of 2+3.5 or 5.5 That's plenty warm for winter if you have a sleeping bag that properly matches the conditions. I would layer the neoair under the ridgerest...I find that air pads in the winter get cold extremely fast once your body leaves it (e.g. you get up to take a p*ss, or rollover to use your Pissbottle, and your mat is cold again), so I prefer to have my body touching a closed cell foam pad.

Also snow is a great insulator, and some people are able to get by with just 3-4 r-value. (i'm okay with 4) Andrew Skurka did his recent alaska expedition with just the ridgerest solar...but he's a beast, and that's very very extreme and unconventional

Edited by Konrad1013 on 04/09/2011 14:45:39 MDT.

Josh Newkirk
(Newkirk) - MLife

Locale: Australia
pad on 04/12/2011 18:52:36 MDT Print View

Depends how comfortable you want to be. I know someone who used to only use a 3/4 thermarest for SAR in Alaska in as cold as 40 below. Not very fun though. Also would put his german shephard in his bivy sack with him.

Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Re: Sleeping Pad? on 04/13/2011 10:46:13 MDT Print View

I'd go with the full length Exped, but seriously consider the Downmat 7 too. That's what I use for winter. On my back or side, my butt or hip nearly bottoms out reducing the R value, but I put my 20" x 20" 1/4" foam sit pad inside my bag here, and this keeps me plenty comfortable. I usually sleep on my stomach anyway, which distributes the weight more evenly.

The single full-length pad is a simple solution. Keeping two pads stacked and lined up isn't something which would work well for me, especially in the cold of winter. Carry the patch kit which comes with the Exped. The standard Exped mats are definitely some of the most durable pads.

Having said that, I plan to experiment with a single Ridgerest Solar next winter. :)

Edited by AndyF on 04/13/2011 10:47:10 MDT.

Ted E
(Mtn_nut) - MLife

Locale: Morrison, CO
Re: Re: Sleeping Pad? on 04/18/2011 01:41:07 MDT Print View


I would just like to point out the flaw in your thinking that a second reflective barrier won't help. everything that is above 0 kelvin (so everything!) radiates heat, so the top pad radiates heat, so a second reflective barrier underneath the first will help the top pad retain heat. since the top pad is not as warm as you are, it will not radiate as much heat, but it still will help.
Also, since any real reflector is not perfect, the reflectivity value will be something less than one. this means that some of your body's radiation will get through the first, and even the second reflective barriers, however multiple barriers will also help with this too.

I think any type of inflatable pad user in the winter should bring a foam pad (keeps things drier and you safer). the ridgerest solite weighs less than the solar, and is cheaper, and unless you're doing some serious mileage, its worth the weight to keep you safe. if i was redoing my system, i would use a short solite with my new full size neoair, since i will pretty much always be wearing some sort of inner bootie for winter camping to keep my feet warm. Also, after hearing about some of the mountaineering and ice climbing accidents this year, like echo oak up in the southfork, i think i would just bring my solite short with me on treks and climbs as part of an emergency kit.

i found using my old short neoair (top) and my ridgerest solar (bottom) on top of less than an inch of snow, the snow did not melt out underneath of me after three night of sleeping in the same spot in a snow cave (which was not that efficient due to a large-ish door opening, but was still better than a tent). On a side note, I think next winter, im going to invest in an icebox igloo maker.

Edited by Mtn_nut on 04/18/2011 01:43:20 MDT.

Rick Harjes
(rharjes) - F
Exped Downmat on 04/20/2011 08:14:40 MDT Print View

I know it's not the lightest solution out there, but I take my Downmat 9 DLX along with a standard Ridgerest. It takes up a lot of space, but when I go out for a night or two in the winter, I have my pulk behind me carrying many of the other things I need for the few nights. If the Downmat ever failed, I still have the Ridgerest to offer some protection.


Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
ah on 04/21/2011 11:49:52 MDT Print View

Thank you Ted for the clarification. Much appreciated.